Congress to Debate Bill Preventing Medically-Necessary Abortions

Cliff Stearns

Representative Cliff Stearns does not have a uterus. Image via Wikipedia

You may want to sit down for this one. Congress is going to start debating HR 358, the “Protect Life Act.” Sounds good, right?

HR 358 has been nicknamed the “Let Women Die” Act, as it would allow hospitals that receive federal funds to turn away women seeking abortions to save their lives.

The bill also proposes outlawing federal funds from going to health plans that cover abortion services. It would also make it impossible to stop federal funds from going to health organizations that don’t support abortion rights.

HR 358 was penned Representative Joe Pitts, a Pennsylvania Republican and member of the House’s Pro-Life Caucus.

When it was introduced in February, Rep. Pitts’s spokesperson told Talking Points Memo that the bill isn’t newly killing women; it reinforces hospitals’ already-existing rights to refuse to save them.

Since the 1970s, existing law affirmed the right to refuse involvement in abortion in all circumstances.

The Protect Life Act simply extends these provisions to the new law by inserting a provision that mirrors Hyde-Weldon. In other words, this bill is only preserving the same rights that medical professionals have had for decades.

I’d just like to take this opportunity to point out that the “Protect Life” designation does not, in fact, protect life; if a woman’s life-saving abortion is denied, guess what? The fetus does not survive, either.

This debate will likely be the first of many over the coming months. Next on the agenda is Florida Republican Cliff Stearns‘s request for an in-depth probe of the financial records of Planned Parenthood, to make sure they’re not trying to use taxpayer money to fund abortions for poor people. If there’s anyone who should be forced to carry pregnancies to term, it’s a woman too poor to go anywhere but Planned Parenthood for an abortion, and if there’s anything that will save the American taxpayer money, it’s making sure that as many babies as possible are born into poverty.

Votes on abortion funding earlier this year split down party lines in both the House and the Senate, which means the Republican-controlled House will probably pass this one, too.

Via Jezebel.


Filed under Health, Law, National, Politics, Sick Sad World

5 responses to “Congress to Debate Bill Preventing Medically-Necessary Abortions

  1. What? A bill is telling hospitals to not perform a life saving procedure? Please cite the lines in the legislation that says this.

    A link to the legislation would be appreciated when you are citing the exact statue that says what you are claiming.

  2. The post does not say the bill “tells hospitals to not perform a life saving procedure.”

    Rather, it says “it would allow hospitals that receive federal funds to turn away women seeking abortions to save their lives.” There is a clear difference between a mandate and an allowance.

    The bill is easy enough to find. You can find the full text at The specific provision is Section 2(g)(1).

  3. FLPatriot

    Sorry if I miss read your comment. I looked at the bill and all it says, specifically the part you refer to is that institutions that receive the federal money are not required to be trained in the induction of abortion.

    Not every hospital is trained and staffed to perform heart transplants, cancer treatment or a myriad of other specific procedures, there is no reason to expect them all to be equipped to perform abortions, especially if it goes against their moral standards.

    Besides their is no evidence of a hospital in America denying someone a life saving abortion, if there is I would love to hear about it.

    I think where this debate gets muddled, and the framing of this legislation has been twisted for political reasons, is that the pro-abortion side refuses to understand that some people find it morally damnable to end the life of a baby and they should not be asked to take part in funding that act.

    Thank you for responding to my last comment and I look forward to hearing from you again if you do.

    • Actually, the part of the bill in question refers to much more than “training,” but that is not the crux of the argument.

      What would you say if a doctor were morally opposed to transplantation? Would you find it acceptable for the hospital to refuse to conduct one, were it fully equipped and the patient going to die otherwise? Cancer treatment? An appendectomy?

      The fact that you frame one side of the argument as “pro-abortion” demonstrates that you do not fully understand the complexity of the issue nor the other side’s arguments. Many people (myself among them) who would never classify themselves as “pro-abortion” would be in favor of granting an abortion to save the life of the mother, especially when the fetus has no chance of survival.

      In fact, I would wager that the vast majority of people who are pro-choice are not “pro-abortion.” I have never met anyone who thinks that abortions are a good thing that should be encouraged in all situations. Most pro-choice activists also think that we should teach sex education and promote the use of contraceptives in order to decrease the number of abortions that happen. That stance, to me, does not read as “pro-abortion.”

  4. Pingback: How to Chip Away at Abortion Rights without Making Abortion Illegal | One Blue Stocking

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